By Allie Burks
The Commerce Journal
Incoming freshmen and transfer students explore and learn about their new home at the Texas A&M University-Commerce student orientation. With three orientation sessions down and four to go, the Office of New Student Orientation of A&M University-Commerce continues to welcome new students.
Orientation is a time for students to prepare for their first year at A&M-Commerce by meeting with and receiving advising from success coaches and academic advisors, acquiring their student ID card, paying tuition and fees, and exploring the resources and organizations the school has to offer.
Luis Franco, director of new student orientation, plans the two-day introduction in a way that will give the incoming students enough information to get them started and to ensure their success.
“We focus on academics, advising, registration, and the major components of their transition such as housing, finances, payment, safety, campus support services and resources,” Franco said. “We rely heavily on our orientation staff, who are an awesome group of student leaders, to help convey the sense of Lion pride and help welcome the students.”
Franco and his team seek to improve every year by reviewing the evaluations and feedback from students and parents to make sure orientation remains a positive and efficient experience.
“We have made some changes this year; two that particularly come to mind are our pep rally welcome and our dinner showcase,” said Franco.
At the pep rally the future Lions are divided into Blue or Gold teams, creating a sense of spirit and competition that fosters a positive atmosphere to kick-off their experience. The dinner showcase focuses on student life by highlighting some university programs and organizations.
On the first day of orientation, the students are divided into groups by academic college based on their major. Orientation staff group leaders show the new students around carrying a sign with the initials of the academic college to keep everyone together.
Vincent Phillips, a junior majoring in social work, has worked two orientations so far this summer.
“At the end of the day we are hoping that the students enjoy orientation and get excited about continuing their education,” he said.
Group leaders devote their time to make sure the two days unfold as planned, the group has fun and the students are set up for success.
“One of the girls in my group last orientation told me she is looking forward to the fall because she feels like she already has a support group here, and that kind of remark is really rewarding,” Phillips said. “After working those long hours, knowing that these incoming students are energized to further their education and looking forward to coming to our school-you can’t ask for more.”
The next orientation session will be held on July 19-20.